England cricket captain Alastair Cook and the ECB are at loggerheads over his use of an old-style helmet that fails to conform to new safety regulations. The 31-year-old batsman wore the outlawed helmet during Essex's recent win over Gloucestershire in Division Two of the County Championship.
The ECB has banned the equipment because it features a large gap between peak of the helmet and its adjustable grille. The revised regulations were introduced in light of injuries to the likes of Craig Kieswetter and Stuart Broad, both of whom suffered serious problems after the ball went between the gap in the helmet.
The England captain has been contacted by officials about the new regulations and has been warned that he could face censure if he continues to flout the rules. However, Cook has insisted on wearing the helmet he has used since 2013, claiming the new design causes him to lose sight of the ball for a split-second.
Cook's Essex teammate Ravi Bopara explained the difficulties of using the new helmet and said he can understand the England skipper's point of view. "It is tough to start using those helmets – you do lose the ball for that less than a split-second, and that makes a whole load of difference to a lot of players," Bopara told Sky Sports.
"I understand where Cookie's coming from. But when it comes to the guidelines and safety, we all have to be aware of that."